A new world conversion efficiency record for solar photovoltaic (PV) modules has been set by researchers with Panasonic Corporation (2015 Zayed Future Energy Prize winner in the Large Corporation category), and verified by the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST).
The new world record, for a 23.8% solar conversion efficiency mark, bests the previous one set just recently by SunPower (22.8%). The achievement means that Panasonic now holds the conversion efficiency record for both crystalline-based solar cells (25.6%, set in April 2014) and modules.
A new press release provides more: “Panasonic developed a unique silicon heterojunction structure composed of crystalline silicon substrate and amorphous silicon layers, and has continuously improved its photovoltaic module HIT using silicon heterojunction since the start of commercial production. This new record was achieved by further development of Panasonic‘s proprietary heterojunction technology for high-efficiency solar cells and modules adopting a back-contact solar cell structure.”
For those who are unaware, “heterojunction” refers to a technology “for junction formation required for solar cells that covers the silicon base surface with an amorphous silicon layer. This technology has the key feature of superior passivation to compensate for the many flaws around the silicon base surface area.” And “back-contact structure” refers to a technology “for eliminating the shadow loss on the front side electrode with the electrodes on the back of the solar cell, which allows the more efficient utilization of sunlight.”